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Case Studies

Case Study: How a Super Cleat Saved a Paper Recycling Plant Time and Money

A document shredding company in North Carolina was having cleat issues on their primary incline belt when the heavy load of the hopper full of papers would bend the cleats over and the cleats would not carry the product up the incline. Sparks' R&D department was able to develop a custom solution to solve the issue.

The Company

This company is one of several locations nationwide that collects all types of paper documents from their contracted customers and shreds the documents before sending the paper off to be recycled. The documents, ranging from file folders, computer printouts, and loose-leaf binders are collected at their customers’ facilities in large bins or individual banker’s boxes.

The Challenge

Truckloads of documents and bins are brought into the facility and dumped into a pile on the plant floor. A skip loader is used to push the paper into a long pit in the floor and a belt in the bottom feeds the material toward the first incline. The pile at the bottom of the incline is often 3-4 feet deep with dense piles of paper. The initial incline belts installed by the equipment manufacturer were Sparks 415 NOS Super Cleat belts with 3” high cleats. Within a few months, the extreme weight would bend the cleats over on the incline belt, greatly reducing the amount of paper that it could carry up the incline. This required significantly increased production time to process the same amount of material.

The Solution

The initial solution was a double-thickness heavy-duty Super Cleat. This belt would provide at least one year of service before it needed to be replaced.

Sparks turned to another custom fabrication capability and developed a thick wall-cast urethane cleat cast on an Automate II belt. The cleats were then reinforced with gussets molded into the back side of the cleat to further support the load and prevent back bending. The new cleated belt is matching the performance of the heavy-duty Super Cleat.

The Results/Outcome

Sparks continues to provide a belt that meets the demands of the application for this important customer at a reduced belt cost that provides a 25% savings to the customer.

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